Your guests will be coming back for more with these herb-infused desserts and sweet treats. The alluring scents of mint, lavender and lemon verbena make these puddings irresistible.
Use aromatic herbs to flavour your desserts for an extra dimension. We think Robyn Gibson’s sly pie sounds absolutely delicious.
Ingredients • 1½ cups dried currants • 1 cup chopped mint • ½ cup brown sugar • shortcrust pastry • knob butter • milk, to brush pastry
Chop mint in blender, using the brown sugar as an abrasive. Do this in several lots. Mix with the currants. Place in a pie dish lined with shortcrust pastry. Dot with butter and cover with pastry. Brush top with milk and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake at 180°C for 30 minutes.
For a summer dessert, try lavender sorbet using homegrown English lavender flowers.
Ingredients • 2 cups water • 1 cup sugar • 1 tablespoon lavender flowers • 2½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice • 2 tablespoons vodka
Heat water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Add lavender, stir, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 10 minutes. Strain over a bowl. Add the lemon juice and vodka, and stir. Vodka (or another alcohol) is used to keep the sorbet soft. Alcohol does not freeze, so it keeps the sorbet from freezing too.
Transfer to an icecream maker and process according to manufacturer’s instructions. If you don’t have one, pour the sorbet into a container, cover with a lid, and place in the freezer. When semi-solid, mix with a fork and refreeze again. When frozen, put in food processor and process until smooth. Cover and refreeze until serving time. Serve with flower-shaped candy, crystalised violas, and Karen Barrett’s lemon verbena shortbread.
Ingredients • 2 cups flour • ¾ teaspoon salt • ½ teaspoon baking powder • 1-2 tablespoons chopped lemon verbena • 170g softened butter • 2 tablespoons honey • ½ cup icing sugar • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 150°C. Grease a square tin. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder and lemon verbena. In another bowl combine butter, honey and icing sugar with an electric mixer. Add in flour mixture and mix until the dough resembles a coarse meal with lumps. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead with your hands until it comes together. Put dough into prepared tin, pressing down with your hands. Use a fork to prick the dough into rectangular bars. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes (time may vary depending on your oven). Cool pan on a wire rack. Store in airtight container.